What is immediately noteworthy about this piece is that it is clearly a fresh new look at a post-Impressionist painting of the same name by the Expressionist and Post Expressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh.
Van Gogh's own version of Bedroom at Arles was painted in 1888, and though they are over a century apart, the two paintings bear very striking similarities.
Whilst Van Gogh used his classic combination of bold colours and swirling forms to create his piece, Lichtenstein depicts Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles in a Pop Art style. Pop Art was an artistic movement in the US and the UK that flourished in the 1950s and 1960s.
Its emphasis on popular culture often lead many pop artists, such as Lichtenstein, to create works that were heavily influenced by comics, cartoons and popular movies. As such, Lichtenstein re-envisions Bedroom at Arles using clean, bold lines that would not be out of place in a comic. His use of clear bright colours makes the piece seem more two dimensional, perhaps, and the overall effect is something that it easy to see and to consume with the eyes.
Lichtenstein painted Bedroom at Arles just 5 years before his death in Manhattan, New York City. This date is significant because it means that with Bedroom at Arles, we see Lichtenstein working right at the end of his career. With Bedroom at Arles, he both continues his clean, bold cartoon style trend (which was evident in his works dating from the early 60s onwards) but he also displays a broader range of influences.
Being influenced by these 'great' artworks like Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles was not something inimical to Pop Artists. Many Pop Artists had trained as fine artists at art school. Though Pop Art was a rebellion against the status quo in art with its emphasis on the superiority of 'highbrow' art over and above popular culture, it could nevertheless draw on such 'highbrow' art works and turn them into popular pieces for the masses to enjoy.